Iceland faces rising risk to financial stability, central bank says

Iceland faces rising risk to financial stability, central bank says

(Reuters) - Risks to financial stability in Iceland have increased because of worsening external conditions, and the balance of risk is tilted to the downside, the Nordic country's central bank said on Wednesday. "The global economic outlook has deteriorated recently, which would adversely affect the Icelandic economy," the bank's financial stability committee said in a statement. The country's systemically important banks are highly resilient and their capital and liquidity are strong, it added. "The Central Bank of Iceland's stress test for 2022 shows that the banks are well prepared to respond to external shocks and simultaneously support households and businesses,"…
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Volcano erupts near Iceland’s capital in seismic hot spot

Volcano erupts near Iceland’s capital in seismic hot spot

 (Reuters) - A volcano has erupted on a mountain near Iceland's capital Reykjavik after days of rising earthquake activity in the area, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said. Images and livestreams by local news outlets MBL and RUV showed lava and smoke spewing from a fissure in the ground on the side of the Fagradalsfjall mountain, which last year saw an eruption that lasted six months. Tourists and residents should avoid the area due to poisonous gases, although there was no immediate risk of damage to critical infrastructure, the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said in a statement.…
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Missing tourist plane found at bottom of lake in Iceland

Missing tourist plane found at bottom of lake in Iceland

Authorities in Iceland have found a small plane at the bottom of a lake two days after the aircraft went missing with three tourists and a pilot on board. The three tourists on the Cessna 172N plane - who departed for a sightseeing tour on Thursday - were from Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States, Iceland's Morgunbladid newspaper reported. Iceland's coastguard said in a statement the plane crashed into Lake Thingvallavatn some 40 km (25 miles) east of the capital, Reykjavik, and was located with the help of an unmanned submarine. The plane has not been pulled to the…
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Iceland will have a male-majority parliament after all, election recount shows

Iceland will have a male-majority parliament after all, election recount shows

Iceland looked to have elected a woman-majority parliament but a recount of votes on Sunday showed there will still be more men than women in the chamber, state broadcaster RUV reported. Thirty women were elected to the 63-seat parliament in Saturday's election, up from 24 in the previous vote. Earlier results before the recount late on Sunday had shown 33 women were elected. The National Electoral Commission has not published the results on its website and could not immediately be reached for comment. Only three countries - Rwanda, Cuba and Nicaragua - have more women than men in parliament, while…
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UPDATE – Women candidates win majority of seats in Icelandic election

UPDATE – Women candidates win majority of seats in Icelandic election

COPENHAGEN, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Iceland has voted more women than men into its parliament, a first in Europe, in a national election that saw the ruling left-right coalition strengthen its majority, final results showed on Sunday. Thirty-three women were voted into the 63-seat parliament in Saturday's election, up from 24 in the last election. Iceland, a North Atlantic island of 371,000 people, was ranked the most gender-equal country in the world for the 12th year running in a World Economic Forum (WEF) report released in March. "In a historical and international light, the most significant news is that women…
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Iceland holds general election

Iceland holds general election

Icelanders vote on Saturday in an election that could have a messy outcome with a record nine parties likely to enter parliament, making it difficult to find common ground on topics like climate change and healthcare. The North Atlantic island of 371,000 citizens has seen a period of stability since 2017 under the ruling left-right coalition, after years of political scandals and distrust of politicians following the 2008 financial crisis. The current government coalition led by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir's Left-Green Movement won its mandate on a promise to secure stability after Icelanders went to polls five times from 2007…
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UPDATED: Britain in post-Brexit trade deals with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein

UPDATED: Britain in post-Brexit trade deals with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein

Britain has reached post-Brexit trade agreements with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the countries said on Friday. The three countries, which are part of the European Economic Area allowing them access to the single market, have relied on temporary trade arrangements with Britain since the end of a Brexit transition period on Dec. 31 following its departure from the European Union. "Today's deal will be a major boost for our trade with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, growing an economic relationship already worth 21.6 billion pounds ($30.5 billion), while supporting jobs and prosperity in all four nations at home," British International Trade…
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Iceland takes first step to reduce bank ownership after 2008 collapse

Iceland takes first step to reduce bank ownership after 2008 collapse

Iceland intends by next month to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of wholly state-owned Islandsbanki, taking the first step to reduce its significant ownership in the sector. Islandsbanki was one of the three lenders that collapsed within a few days of each other in 2008, prompting a state takeover which resulted in restructuring existing banks and creating new ones. "The listing of Islandsbanki on Nasdaq Iceland is an important first step to reduce the Icelandic state's significant ownership in the banking sector," Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said in a statement. "Thereby we move one step closer to a healthier…
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Iceland proposes tighter border controls to ease domestic COVID-19 curbs

Iceland proposes tighter border controls to ease domestic COVID-19 curbs

Iceland’s government said it would propose tightening some of its border controls in order to ease domestic COVID-19 restrictions. Passengers entering Iceland from countries with high infection rates - 1,000 infections per 100,000 inhabitants - will need to go into quarantine, while authorities can also prohibit unnecessary travel to Iceland from those countries. “The aim is to create conditions that make it possible to lift as many domestic restrictions as possible, despite the widespread spread of the epidemic abroad,” the government said in a statement. Photo: The Icelandic flag flies at Thingvellir national park in Reykjavik, Iceland. EPA-EFE/STR
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Photo story – Volcano eruption in Iceland

Photo story – Volcano eruption in Iceland

A volcano erupted near Iceland's capital Reykjavik on Friday, shooting lava high into the night sky after thousands of small earthquakes in recent weeks.  The eruption occurred near Fagradalsfjall, a mountain on the Reykjanes Peninsula, around 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the capital. Some four hours after the initial eruption at 2045 GMT - the first on the peninsula since the 12th century - lava covered about one square kilometer or nearly 200 football field. EPA-EFE/ICELANDIC COAST GUARD
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Updated – Volcano erupts near Iceland’s capital

Updated – Volcano erupts near Iceland’s capital

 A volcano erupted near Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, on Friday, shooting lava high into the night sky after thousands of small earthquakes in recent weeks. The eruption occurred near Fagradalsfjall, a mountain on the Reykjanes Peninsula, around 30 kilometers southwest of the capital. Some four hours after the initial eruption at 2045 GMT -- the first on the peninsula since the 12th century -- lava covered about 1 square kilometer or nearly 200 football fields. Veðurstofa Íslands Facebook "I can see the glowing red sky from my window," said Rannveig Gudmundsdottir, resident in the town of Grindavik, only 8 kilometers from…
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Quaking in their beds, sleepless Icelanders await imminent volcanic eruption

Quaking in their beds, sleepless Icelanders await imminent volcanic eruption

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Icelanders are yearning for some undisturbed shut-eye after tremors from tens of thousands of earthquakes have rattled their sleep for weeks in what scientists call an unprecedented seismic event, which might well end in a spectacular volcanic eruption. "At the moment we're feeling it constantly. It's like you're walking over a fragile suspension bridge," Rannveig Gudmundsdottir, a lifelong resident in the town of Grindavik, told Reuters. Grindavik lies in the southern part of the Reykjanes Peninsula, a volcanic and seismic hot spot, where more than 40,000 earthquakes have occurred since Feb. 24, exceeding the total number of…
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Strong 5.6 quake rattles Iceland

Strong 5.6 quake rattles Iceland

A powerful earthquake struck Iceland on Wednesday morning with the tremors being felt in the country's capital, Rekjavik, with the public warning of "several aftershocks". According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), the earthquake reached a magnitude of 5.6 on the Richter Scale.  The EMSC also reported the quake hit a depth of 10km in the capital and struck at 10.05am. As of yet, there have been no reports of damage although some indicated it had been a strong quake.  The earthquake occurred at 1:43 p.m. local time (1343 GMT) with first measurements putting it at magnitude 5.5, the office said,…
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Iceland’s debt to rise as pandemic shaves a fifth off next year’s budget

Iceland’s debt to rise as pandemic shaves a fifth off next year’s budget

Iceland will increase its public debt because the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are forecast to cut its fiscal budget by almost a fifth next year, the government said. The pandemic has hit Iceland's tourism-dependant economy hard, leading the central bank to cut its main interest rate four times this year and the government to spend billions in aid to stricken businesses and individuals left jobless. The government said it expects state revenue to be 192 billion Icelandic crowns ($1.39 billion) lower next year as a result of less economic activity during the pandemic. That would bring the total deficit…
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COVID-19 antibodies present in patients four months after recovery -study

COVID-19 antibodies present in patients four months after recovery -study

Antibody levels against the novel coronavirus rose and then held steady for up to four months in more than 90% of recovered COVID-19 patients in Iceland, according to a study published this week. In previous studies, antibody levels dropped sharply within a few months after COVID-19, raising questions about the duration of immunity that infection may provide. The new finding may have implications for reinfection risks and vaccine durability, said Kari Stefansson, chief executive of deCode Genetics, which conducted the study. To get a sense of how many people in Iceland had been infected with the new coronavirus and learn…
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Estonia adds Iceland, Netherlands, Poland and San Marino to self-quarantine list

Estonia adds Iceland, Netherlands, Poland and San Marino to self-quarantine list

Four European countries, Iceland, the Netherlands, Poland and San Marino, have been added to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' list of countries of origin for travellers arriving in Estonia who from Monday, August 10, must self-quarantine for 14 days, bringing the total to 19. No countries have been removed from last week's list, and travelers from the United Kingdom remain free of any self-quarantining requirement. Outside of Europe, travelers from Canada do not have to self-quarantine for 14 days, having been removed from a recently updated EU list. A country is added to the quarantine list if the reported rate…
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Iceland’s president easily wins re-election

Iceland’s president easily wins re-election

Iceland's President Gudni Johannesson won a landslide election on Sunday, according to partial results, after the European country became the second to hold polls since coronavirus lockdowns were lifted. Since suffering spectacular bank failures in 2008, the volcanic North Atlantic island of 365,000 inhabitants has recovered some economic and political stability, which has worked in the 52-year-old president's favour. Early results late Saturday suggested Johannesson had secured a second four-year mandate with 90 percent of the votes, seeing off a challenge from rightwinger Gudmundur Franklin Jonsson. "I am honoured and proud," the president told AFP from his election night headquarters…
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Iceland prepares to welcome tourists back in June

Iceland prepares to welcome tourists back in June

Iceland this week eased its lockdown rules and venues were allowed to reopen. Social distancing is now advised rather than required, and many took the first opportunity in six weeks to spend a night out on the town with friends. Iceland has now moved from ‘emergency phase’ to ‘alert phase’, the second step in a three-stage plan to lift restrictions that have been in place since March. It is an encouraging sign that plans to relax quarantine rules on June 15 in order to welcome international tourists back into the country will be able to go ahead. Schools, museums, and…
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Iceland to test tourist arrivals with the aim to restart tourism by June 15

Iceland to test tourist arrivals with the aim to restart tourism by June 15

Holidaymakers arriving in Iceland will be given the choice of a coronavirus test or a two-week quarantine under plans to restart tourism to the island nation. The Icelandic government said it wants to welcome international tourists again by June 15, with some professionals, including scientists, filmmakers and athletes, allowed to enter the country from May 15. The exact details of the scheme are yet to be announced but it is likely visitors will be required to download Iceland’s official tracing and tracking app before being asked to self-isolate for 14 days unless they agree to be tested for the virus…
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Iceland doesn’t exclude isolating island

Iceland doesn’t exclude isolating island

The option to close Iceland due to the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is constantly being reassessed, in accordance with new risk assessments, mbl.is reports. A task group from the national police commissioner’ s office believes authorities have the right to close the country if public health is at stake. This was revealed at a press conference over the weekend. The first three cases of people infected with coronavirus have been confirmed in Iceland, the country's Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said in a statement late on Sunday. See also: New coronavirus infections in Antwerp and Rome,…
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New coronavirus infections in Antwerp and Rome, cases in Iceland and Andorra

New coronavirus infections in Antwerp and Rome, cases in Iceland and Andorra

In Italy, Monday saw the first case of the coronavirus in the capital Rome as a policeman tested positive for COVID-19 at the capital's Spallanzani Hospital. The man's movements and contacts have been reconstructed, regional health councillor Alessio D'Amato said. "The epidemiological link with the Lombardy region has been confirmed," said the councillor. Meanwhile Belgium’s second case of infection by the coronavirus has been announced by federal health minister Maggie De Block whilst Iceland and Andorra have reported cases of coronavirus. The woman in the latest case in Belgium is reported to be a Dutch speaker, and is currently being…
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Photo Story: Severe winter storm wreaks havoc across Iceland

Photo Story: Severe winter storm wreaks havoc across Iceland

A handout photo made available by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of a satellite image showing a winter storm hitting Iceland. Iceland's worst winter storm of the year is continuing to bring extremely windy conditions across parts of the island as well as dangerous blizzard conditions in its north-western region. Photo: EPA-EFE/NOAA HANDOUT
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Iceland and Norway agree to deepen their cooperation in climate action with the EU

Iceland and Norway agree to deepen their cooperation in climate action with the EU

Climate change is a global threat and demands global action: the more countries join forces, the bigger the chances we can master this major challenge of our generation. The European Union, Iceland and Norway today agreed to extend their cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security / Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “The climate crisis knows no borders. That's why we as the European Union, along with our closest partners, will continue to lead the global work to combat it. Only by working…
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Photo Story: Italian Air Force F-35s during NATO Air Policing

Photo Story: Italian Air Force F-35s during NATO Air Policing

A series of photos of the Italian Air Force multirole combat aircraft F-35 during defence operation Air Policing led by NATO in Keflavik Air Base, Iceland. NATO Air Policing is a peacetime mission, which aims to preserve the security of Alliance airspace. It is a collective task and involves the continuous presence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year of fighter aircraft and crews, which are ready to react quickly to airspace violations. Photos: EPA-EFE/GIUSEPPE LAMI Click on photos to enlarge
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EBU fines Iceland’s Hatari for display of Palestinian scarves during Eurovision final

EBU fines Iceland’s Hatari for display of Palestinian scarves during Eurovision final

Iceland has received a fine from the organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest after their band displayed scarves with Palestinian flags during the contest's final in Israel. The contest's organisers, the European Broadcasting Union, said in a statement seen by Euronews that this gesture infringed their rules banning political gestures. Rule 2.6 of the competition stipulates that “participating broadcasters shall ensure all necessary steps are undertaken within their respective delegations and teams in order to make sure that the ESC shall in no case be politicized and/or instrumentalized.” Hatari is known for being against Israel's occupation in the Palestinian territories.…
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The US, the EU, Iceland, and Norway Sign Agreement To Remove Time Constraints on Air Carrier Leases of Aircraft with Crew

The US, the EU, Iceland, and Norway Sign Agreement To Remove Time Constraints on Air Carrier Leases of Aircraft with Crew

The United States, the European Union, Iceland, and Norway signed an agreement to remove one-sided time constraints on U.S. air carrier leases of aircraft with crew in the lucrative U.S.-EU air transport market. The signing of this important agreement is the result of years of negotiations, led by the Department of State with the Departments of Transportation and Commerce. This agreement ends a longstanding imbalance in our civil aviation relationship and allows U.S. carriers to lease aircraft and crew to their European partners with no time constraints, in a manner consistent with the 2007 Air Transport Agreement between the United…
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Iceland unveils memorial plaque for lost glacier

Iceland unveils memorial plaque for lost glacier

Iceland has been commemorating the country's first glacier lost to climate change, with a memorial plaque warning of the effects of global warming being installed at the site. Icelandic officials, activists and others took part in a ceremony on Sunday that included poetry, silence and political speeches on the urgency of taking action to curb rising global temperatures. The disappearance of Okjokull, a glacier in the west of the sub-Arctic island, is being seen as directly due to the warming of the climate caused by human activity. The plaque bears the words: "This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and…
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Syphilis cases skyrocket across Europe with numbers more than double in Iceland, Ireland, UK, Germany and Malta

Syphilis cases skyrocket across Europe with numbers more than double in Iceland, Ireland, UK, Germany and Malta

Syphilis cases have skyrocketed in Europe with reported cases up 70% since 2010, a new report has claimed. Experts from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said between 2010 and 2017 rates of the sexually transmitted disease more than doubled in Iceland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany and Malta. Syphilis, caused by a bacterium, can cause serious complications. It typically starts with a painless sore that eventually heals. After initial symptoms, a person can develop a rash and flu-like symptoms. The infection can last for decades even after the symptoms pass. Syphilis can increase the risk of…
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Iceland’s Wow Air collapses and goes out of business

Iceland’s Wow Air collapses and goes out of business

Icelandic budget airline Wow Air has collapsed and gone out of business after failing to finalise an equity deal with investors.  WOW air said all passengers have been informed via text message/email to the contact details listed in the booking. RTÉ reports that earlier this morning, the company announced on its website it was in fund negotiations and that flights were on hold "until documentation with all parties involved have been finalised". Via RTE
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UEFA Nations League Roundup

UEFA Nations League Roundup

Switzerland beat Iceland 6 - 0, while Spain beat England 2 - 1 in England. Northern Ireland lost to Bosnia Herzegovina 1 - 2.  This is the round up of Saturday's games provided by UEFA.   Group A2: Switzerland 6-0 Iceland In a stunning display in St Gallen, Switzerland were 2-0 up at the break through Steven Zuber and Deniz Zaharia. A Xherdan Shaqiri free-kick was flicked into his own net by Birkir Bjarnason before Haris Seferović, debutant Albian Ajet and fellow substitute Admir Mehmedi added to an unhappy start as Iceland coach for Erik Hamrén. Group A4: England 1-2 Spain Luis…
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Frozen food sold in Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, and Iceland  recalled after deadly bacteria outbreak

Frozen food sold in Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, and Iceland  recalled after deadly bacteria outbreak

CAMBRIDGESHIRE LIVE : Frozen food sold in some of Britain's biggest supermarkets including Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, and Iceland has been removed from their shelves because of a deadly outbreak of bacteria. In all 43 products have been recalled and people are being urged to check their freezers for the products. Frozen sweetcorn is the likely source of listeriosis affecting five European countries, including the United Kingdom, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has warned. Nine people have reportedly died as a result, according to the European Food Safety Authority. Listeriosis is a rare but serious foodborne illness caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes that can be more…
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World Cup Round Up

World Cup Round Up

Leo Messi and Argentina, apparently down and out and squabbling among themselves, pulled their act together in yet another last-ditch drama at the 2018 World Cup to qualify for the knockout stages. Captain Messi led the fight relentlessly as Argentina emerged from St Petersburg with a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in Group D which sent them on to a second round clash with France. Messi, an apparently depressed focus of doubt and controversy after Argentina’s opening draw with Iceland and defeat by Croatia, looked more like his old self. He opened the scoring after 13 minutes and also hit a…
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World Cup Round Up – Day 9

World Cup Round Up – Day 9

Brazil 2 Costa Rica 0  Brazil broke Costa Rican hearts as they snatched a last-minute 2-0 win in Saint Petersburg. While late goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar kick-start their 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, back-to-back defeats have ended the Central Americans' hopes of progression. A Seleção controlled the game from start to finish, averaging two-thirds of possession while largely camped in the Costa Rican half. Chances were slim in the opening period, with the best falling to Los Ticos' Celso Borges as they threatened on the counter-attack. Brazil got their eye in after the break, though, finally fashioning the clear-cut opportunities they…
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World Cup Round Up Day 3

World Cup Round Up Day 3

Today's calendar reserver four matches which saw the debut of France and Argentina, amongst the favourites to proceed in the knock-out stage and the debut of Iceland in a World Cup competition. Here's how it went. France 2 Australia 1 (Highlights)The third matchday of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ began with the Group C encounter between France and Australia in Kazan. Although Les Bleus made a bright start, stars Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann were unable to capitalise on their chances. The Aussies gained a foothold in the game after the first 15 minutes, with Hugo Lloris palming their best…
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Iceland first country having a petition to boycott next year’s Eurovision

More than 18,000 people have signed a petition calling for Iceland to boycott next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, citing human rights violations against Palestinian people, Euronews reports. The petition, started by developer Árni Steingrímur Sigurðsson, calls on national broadcaster RUV to withdraw Iceland from the contest. With more than 18,000 signatures by Wednesday afternoon, the petition argues that “in view of the human rights abuses of Israel against the Palestinian people, it is morally indefensible to engage in a glamorous event like the Eurovision.” Netta Barzilai won the contest at the weekend with the song “Toy”, giving Israel…
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